Please welcome debut author Mark Jones to Write Despite. After “retiring,” Mark has stumbled upon a new career!
Take it away, Mark:
My first novel with the Wild Rose Press, Peculiar Activities, includes a dedication to one of my high school literature teachers. I enjoyed writing in high school, especially when our school district created an “English” track course with an emphasis on it.
Still, writing was not something that followed me into college or my banking career, or later, my work in the world of higher education finance.
Then after thirty-three years, I retired from the financial services and budgeting departments at the University of Oklahoma and the University of Central Oklahoma…and thoughts of writing returned.
I developed a concept for a mystery/detective/international intrigue story and began putting my thoughts on paper. Two writing classes at a local career tech center, plus local and state writing conferences, offered a great deal of knowledge, as well as several invaluable contacts.
The Peculiar Activities manuscript then won the mystery category in the Oklahoma Writers’ Federation annual contest in 2019, and it finished as a finalist in the U.K.’s Page Turner Awards in 2020. In February 2021, I signed a contract with the Wild Rose Press, and the book is now in the final stages of production—while I wait for a release date, probably early this fall.
It’s hard to believe this is happening. I think literature teacher will be proud. My suggestion to other aspiring writers? Never give up, have faith in yourselves, and work, work, work. Publishing is a challenging and sometimes harsh business. But keep writing.
Follow Mark to learn more.